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Strapping a Ceiling

Prior to hanging sheetrock to ceiling joists it is important that strapping first be installed.

Strapping helps prevent cracks from showing up later in your home's ceiling, as well as provides more surface area for securing the sheetrock to the ceiling.

Strapping typically consists of 1"x 3" boards that are nailed perpendicular to the ceiling joists. Strapping can be purchased at any home improvement center as individual sticks or in bundles of 10, and comes in lengths from 8 to 16 feet.

Strapping should be applied every 16 inches on center perpendicular to, and across, the ceiling joists. Care should be made in installing the strapping such that two pieces of abutting sheetrock each have access to approximately 1.5" of surface area of the strapping material. For example, the centerline of the 3rd row of strapping from a wall should be at 48 inches (the width of a piece of sheetrock). Not the edge of the strapping!

The installation of strapping is straight forward in concept, however significant care should be given to ensure that it is securely nailed and runs straight. Otherwise the sheetrocking effort may not go smoothly or be installed properly.

On pitched ceilings, it may help to use a chalk line and level to ensure straight lines. Also, the use of a Nail Gun is very helpful in this task, as nailing over one's head can quickly become tiring. Not to mention, the job goes much faster.

Over the past 20+ years Mr. Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. Mr. Donovan's formal education and profession have been as an Electrical Engineer and Marketing Manager.

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